Insights: Energy Efficiency Incentives from NYSERDA
For many years, the NYSERDA FlexTech Program has been providing matching funding (or better) for energy efficiency studies of their facilities. NYSERDA has increased this incentive to potentially compensate for the entire study, essentially making these studies free. The guidelines and restrictions for these studies are as follows:
- Applications to the FlexTech program must be submitted by December 31, 2020
- The Owner has two years from receiving a purchase order from NYSERDA to apply for reimbursement AND the project(s) must be implemented within that timeframe.
- Funding is limited to either the Owner’s initial cost of the study or the capital costs of implementing the project (whichever is lower).
- Reimbursement is not available for the installation of new fossil fuel-based measures (i.e. boiler projects are not eligible for reimbursement)
To better illustrate how this funding works here are two example projects to consider:
- An Owner wants to replace the aging chiller plant at their facility and hires a NYSERDA-Approved FlexTech Consultant (like C&S) to do all the design work needed for a successful project. The total design fee is estimated at $50,000. As part of the project, the Consultant recommends including a NYSERDA FlexTech energy study. 30% ($15,000) of the work the Consultant is already doing as part of the design project is eligible for funding through the FlexTech program; this includes site visits, data collection, cost estimating, energy savings calculations, and more. The Consultant applies for and receives matching funding from NYSERDA ($15,000), and submits a study report to NYSERDA for approval. After the project is complete and the new chiller plant is installed, the Consultant applies on behalf of the Owner to be reimbursed for their half of the energy study and NYSERDA provides the Owner a check for $15,000. The net result is that the Owner has been given a design for $35,000 that was estimated at $50,000.
- A University member of NYSERDA’s REV Campus Challenge is not sure which energy saving projects make the most sense for an academic building on their campus. The University hires a NYSERDA-Approved FlexTech Consultant (like C&S) to perform an energy efficiency study for their entire building to see what projects will provide the best return on investment. A complete audit of the 250,000 square foot facility costs $50,000. Through the FlexTech program, NYSERDA funds this project at the 60% level ($30,000). The Consultant completes the study and is paid $20,000 by the University and $30,000 by NYSERDA. The Consultant comes up with solutions that include control systems upgrades, replacing mechanical equipment, lighting upgrades, envelope improvements, and more. The University implements these ideas, the Consultant applies on behalf of the University to be reimbursed and NYSERDA provides the University a check for their initial portion of the study ($20,000). A large benefit to this approach is that it gives the Owner two options that both come with savings. The first option is to perform a study only, which provides a comprehensive study, at a reduced cost, that will allow them to make informed decisions. The second option is to implement the solutions in the study that not only cover the cost of the study, but also provides energy savings that benefit the University for years to come.
Ben Tashjian, P.E., LEED AP
C&S would be happy to help you better understand the NYSERDA FlexTech program and how it can work for you, your projects, and your facility. Ben can be reached at BTashjian@cscos.com or (518) 618-1898.